Nolanville city council delays vote on annexation

Nolanville city council delays vote on annexation
Posted at 1:11 AM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:10-04

On Thursday, the city council delayed the vote on the annexation of 98 Bell County properties to Nolanville.

The annexation was one of the actions items in the city council agenda for Thursday. However, the council did not vote on it.

Instead, council members held a workshop to hear the input from a committee of five Bell County residents called Bell County Citizens Committee regarding the annexation.

The committee, which represents the Bell County residents who would be impacted by the annexation, asked the city to delay the annexation for a year while they worked together on an annexation plan.

“It’s not like we had three years to plan for this or even a year. It was (fast). That’s when you see the anger, the misperception,” said Bell County resident David Sears who is part of the committee.

In addition, they requested for some of the city ordinances to be delayed once residents are annexed to the city.

“You’re telling us that we’re getting all this stuff, but all we’re getting is a bunch of regulations and other five people to tell us what we’re going to have to do inside the city limits, where we don’t have it now,” said Bell County resident Robert Stefek who is part of a committee.

Bell County Commissioner Richard Cortese was in attendance at the meeting. He asked the council to work with the residents while they get used to new regulations would make the transition smoother.

“I think a lot of these folks are concerned about is, that they’re going to go into regulations and ordinances, they haven’t lived with ever,” Cortese told council members.

Several residents have opposed to the annexation in the past because they would have to pay higher taxes and have to follow more regulations. With the annexation residents would be able to use city services, but several of them have said Bell County already provides them the needed services.

Members of the council explained it had not annexed any properties since 2010 when it became a home rule city.If they don’t conduct this annexation, they said, they would lose the ability of annexing 10 percent per year and would run the risk of being annexed by neighboring cities.

“If we sit here and not do anything, then we’ll be Belton, Temple, Harker Heights and you will too,” said council member seat 5 James Bilberry. “We have to make a decision. We only have once in every three years we can do something and according to our comprehensive plan this was the time to get on board and start doing what we needed to do.”

Home rule cities, like Nolanville, have the ability to annex 30 percent every three years.

Irene Andrews, a Bell county resident and member of the committee asked the council if there was a harm in waiting. She suggested talking to neighboring cities about the residents plan to develop an annexation plan with Nolanville.

Some members of the committee questioned the annexation being driven by money. However, Council Member Sear 4 David Williams and council member Billberry denied those claims.

“First of all, we don’t need your tax money. Our budget is $1.75 million in the good. We have a surplus and we’re doing wonderful things in the city,” said Billberry.

Sears said members of the committee agreed the council is doing a better job than what was done in the past. He added council members are going in the right direction for Nolanville. However, he said this was not the right time for the annexation.

Council members said they will take into consideration their requests. A vote for the annexation could happen at the next city council meeting on June 2.

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